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Bride Wars (2009) Print E-mail
Wednesday, 06 May 2009
Image"Bride Wars" is 20th Century Fox's next attempt at a wedding disaster film.  2008 saw the release of "27 Dresses."  I must say that I much prefer "27 Dresses" to "Bride Wars."  When it was released, "Bride Wars" was not panned by critics, but it certainly did not get a lot of attention.  The film grossed about $60 million at the box office, raking in a tidy $20 million profit.

Gary Winick directed the film.  His most notable directing credit comes from "13 Going On 30."  His directorial style is akin to that in "13 Going on 30," but it just doesn't have that same "love of life" feel to it.  The cinematographer is decent given that there isn't much visual works to be done in this romantic comedy genre.

Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson star in this tale of two best friends that fight over one wedding date.  As little girls, both Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) dreamt of getting married at the Plaza in June.  When both girls get engaged on the same day, the duo head to the one and only wedding planner, Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen).  They each get their date in June for the Plaza and all is well.  Or is it?

As it turns out, the receptionist booked both of the girls on the same day in June and now all the dates for the Plaza are booked for three years.  There are so many options for these two girls, yet they insist on one of the changing the date of their wedding.  The game is on.  Each girl sets out to destroy the other so as the wedding will have to be cancelled.  Liv disrupts Emma's dance lessons, steals her DJ and turns her into a golden, spray-tanned women just days before her wedding.  Emma tries to get Liv fat so that she cannot fit into her wedding dress, interrupts her bachelorette party and dyes Liv's hair blue.

Now that they are fighting, the girls must find other maid of honors.  Live chooses her male secretary and Emma chooses her bossy co-worker, Deb (Kristen Johnston).  Their real friends refrain from choosing sides.

The men in the girls' lives try to get them to reconcile, but it only makes matters worse.  While Liv's fiancée supports her, Emma and her fiancée constantly bicker.  Surprise Surprise, but this will leave room for Liv's brother to re-enter Emma's life.  I bet you can guess where this is going.

Obviously, in the end the girls kiss and make-up.  Okay, well they don't kiss, but they do make-up.  The girls both get the man of their dreams and a lovely wedding.  The film concludes with one more convenient coincidence. The film is somewhat entertaining.  While the film is less than 90 minutes, it drags on.  It has its moments, but they are too few and far between.  The bachelorette party is a cute sequence and the end is pretty good.  However, getting to that ending is a long wait.  Not to perpetuate the stereotype, but women will love the weddings and the two best friends.  Men will find interest in watching Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson.

The Blu-ray comes with an AVC MPEG-4 encode with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  While there is nothing horribly wrong with the image, it just doesn't leave a lasting impression.  The details are excellent for most scenes.  There are some indoor instances that turn a bit soft.  The black levels are okay, but are not deep enough to yield a truly eye popping image.  The colors are vibrant but can appear drained in some of the indoor sequences as well.  Fleshtones are a little bothersome.  The fair skin of Hathaway and Hudson are pushed toward the orange and red spectrum (that takes into account the golden tan of Hathaway).  Other than that the image is clean and crisp.  It will yield a great viewing pleasuring.

The audio is presented in DTS-HD 5.1.  While it is not horrible by any means, it simply is an underwhelming track.  Given the film genre, there isn't much to expect to in the way of sound design.  The LFE channel is only triggered during the pop songs in the film.  The surround channels contain some ambience and music bleed but rarely anything discreet.  The dialogue is anchored in the center channel and is clear and present.  There isn't much dynamic range due to lack of need for it in the film.  Even with the bleed in the surrounds I cannot claim this soundtrack to be enveloping.  It still feels like a two or three-channel mix.

Fox delivers "Bride Wars" in a three disc set, which is seemingly going to be the norm for all there new release titles.  The first disc is the only Blu-ray disc.  It contains the feature film and all the special features.  "Something Old, Something New and What That's Going to Cost You" is a pop-up track that could be interesting for wedding lovers.  It will show you costs for all sorts of items in each of the scenes.  There is a section of deleted scenes and improvisations (kind of like a blooper reel).  "Meet Me at the Plaza" takes a look at the New York Plaza hotel location.  "The Perfect White Dress" takes a look at wedding dresses in today's weddings and the designers that make them.  There are two Fox Movie Channel features, "In Character with Kate Hudson" and "In Character with Anne Hathaway."  Each has the actresses discusses their characters.  "Caught on Tape: Man-den, Maid of Honor and Amanda Cam" are three brief featurettes that cover manly men and jealous bridesmaids.  That's all for the special features on the Blu-ray disc.

The second disc is a standard DVD version of the film for those that want to future proof their movie collection.  The only special features on this disc are "The Perfect White Dress" featurette and the deleted scenes.

The third disc is the Digital Copy of the film for your portable players.

"Bride Wars" could have been better, but it is what it is.  The acting is all good for a romantic comedy, but the story is just too full of holes and misses its end target.  I will admit, it does have one of the better romantic comedy endings I've seen in a while.  The video and audio quality are each above average, but still hardly memorable.  However, compared to the included standard DVD, the Blu-ray definitely kicks butt.

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